Let’s get loud 🥁

We don’t know that February is really the time for it, but it looks like everyone wants to move their offices to Chicago now. San Francisco-based financial tech company Affirm — which offers payment plans to the customers of its e-commerce partners — is planning to open up a Chicago office and hire 100 employees by the end of the year.

From the other coast, New York-based marketing tech company Sprinklr is opening a Chicago office to be closer to big-name local clients. The office currently houses 25 employees, and Sprinklr (god it’s hard to type that “right”) is planning to add more soon. 

Data tech company Numerator — are they all going to be industry + tech companies? — isn’t just opening an office, but a global headquarters in the former Marshall Field’s building. The company, which offers consumer intelligence to great big brands, plans to fill out the new space with 100 new employees by 2022

GE Healthcare is bringing 250 of its Wisconsin jobs to its Chicago headquarters, and while we feel for our Sconnie friends, we still firmly believe this is what you get for electing Scott Walker. 

It’s not all great news from outside Chicago — CIBC is planning to follow rival BMO’s lead and make cuts to its international staff, many of whom are in Chicago. And some of the jobs that are coming *coughAmazoncough* aren’t all that great, as Chicago magazine points out in a good, if overly nostalgic, article.

Melinda Gates isn’t exactly bringing jobs to Chicago, but she is bringing her nonprofit, Pivotal Ventures. We’ll be the pilot city for a $50 million push to get more women involved in tech. As women who have been involved in tech for quite a while, we can really truly promise that it’s not the lack of interest or capability causing problems. But sure! Start with the women.

Not to be outdone, senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin announced a plan to bring $1.2 million for STEM education to the South Side. 

It is! It really is! It’s just that maybe some of this money could go toward holding the doors open for people who want to put their education and ambition to good use. 

Maybe some of these funding rounds will provide good jobs for smart people to fill. ActiveCampaign raised $100 million to bring its marketing automation tools to more small businesses. No word on what that means for hiring, but since they did hire 300 people last year, we will give them a little slack. 

Foxtrot is still raising money to run out your corner store and Peapod both, which, yeah, OK sure. $17 million will help the formerly delivery-only “convenience store” open more physical locations from which to run you ice cream and booze. 

Samya.AI raised $6 million, for, yeah, AI-powered tools to help CPG companies match supply and demand (and win back market share from upstarts like Dollar Shave Club and RXBar without having to buy them). The company is headquartered here, but has an office and London and most of its AI operations in India, so no clear sign on what it will mean for local jobs. We wonder though, if you say AI enough times, does it become true?

Blue Cross parent HCSC is cutting another 400 jobs all across the country, on the heels of eliminating a boggling number of middle-management jobs. Normally we’d be skeptical of a company truly having this much inefficiency, but, well, it’s Blue Cross.

Speaking of insane, our nemesis Avant has low-key split itself into two companies, finally admitting that yes, its only business is payday loans. The constantly-alluded-to-but-never-fully-proven “tech” part of the equation is a new company, called Amount, that’s looking to raise $50 million and maybe IPO. So, to recap, investors finally figured out that Avant was no different than any other corner-operating payday lender and stopped funding them. Now to raise money, the same people are trying to convince investors that the technology powering that payday lending is actually so special and new and valuable that it should be its own separate company worth even more money. God, this is going to work and they’re going to make so much more money.

Grubhub isn’t looking for a buyer, despite rumors to the contrary, but it did report $28 million in losses last quarter. We can only assume the mild winter took a toll on people ordering in. 

Culture writer Ernest Wilkins — aka Chicago’s Wingman back in the RedEye heyday — is launching 1099, an event series for and about freelancers. The first get-together — which he calls a networking event you’d actually want to go to — is set for 7pm Feb. 20 at Pilot Project Brewing in Logan Square. It’s free, so RSVP here and go be with your people.

Job with badass potential
Content Manager, U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team
Develop content plans based on U.S. Soccer and team goals, using customer insights to drive your decisions. Oversee a team responsible for site, social and email content. Write and edit on occasion.
Downsides: A few yellow cards here: U.S. Soccer is undergoing some changes hopefully in response to the toxic culture cited in a series of Glassdoor reviews last year. Also, expect to work nights, weekends and holidays while traveling up to 40% of the time. You better get paid.
Perks: A solid content role promoting the baddest in the game: Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and other reigning World Cup champions, now focused on qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.

A few other jobs we’re curious about …
Community Marketing and Outreach Manager, Grassroots Cannabis
Was about to say we’re burned out on cannabis jobs, but that’s stupid. There are so many.

Assistant Marketing Manager and Graphic Designer and Marketing Coordinator, Eli’s Cheesecake
Rounding out the cannabis-related possibilities. Also, graphic designers, please save this Chicago institution. 

Inspiration of the week
Two powerful Latinas who — on America’s unofficial national holiday — showed kids in cages, sang in a foreign language, and displayed their body skin. Watch it again if you haven’t 20 times already.

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